I got this transcript from over here:


null asks:  Hi Beck - Can you believe I've been listening to music
longer than you've been alive, and you are the artist who has fired me
up the MOST? Thank you for being inspiring and exciting. With all of the
soul screaching you'll be doing on the upcoming tour...how are you gonna
take care of your voice?

Beck:  Mmmm I don't know. Knock on wood, I've been lucky over the years.
I've abused my voice over & over. As far as technique goes, I just get
in there and let the adrenaline do all the work.

Aphrodite asks:  What is the music you listen to most these

Beck:  The most? Well, I'm always listening to different things, you
know. There are few albums that I listen to over and over. Right now,
let me see, I was listening to an old Sebadoh album I haven't heard for
years. King Dubby, Pharoah Sanders, they're just great. And I've got
some Tibetan bells, but my favorite thing to listen to is my sound
machine. I have a machine that makes ocean sounds, screaming monkeys, a
tropical cruise. Tropical cruise is good. When I'm -- When I feel like
visualizing global peace, I press the rainforest button. It's been
pretty peaceful here in Texas.

TimReed asks:  Beck, any chance for a Live Album (we really expected the
video to be out by now), and if not, is there a possibility for another
live show like the El Rey show back in 97? The set that night was just

Beck:  Oh, yeah. Cool! No plans for a live record. Our live sounds are
so complex. I think it's hard to translate. I think it would be hard to
reproduce the live ambience in a studio, on tape. And I just say that
because most of the live tapes I've heard were hideous. Most of the
bootlegs were mediocre. The two things are so different that a live
record, well, it would be hard not to sound like a training record. On
our stage, we have like 78 inputs -- more inputs than an orchestra --
towers of keyboards -- everyone has a mike - meanwhile, there are 11 of
us on the stage. But I do know that people who hear the music live have
a different sense of it than they have when they hear the album. So
maybe a live album would be helpful.

Klaystation asks:  How have you approached adapting this new album for
the stage?

Beck:  Well, I wrote it for the stage, you know. I wrote the whole
thing, top to bottom, with the band and performing in mind. But when
you're writing an album, you'll eventually be 2 years behind. It's two
years from the time I started recording to today, when I begin touring.
I'm going back to the space I was in two years ago. And since then my
thinking has changed. I'm probably in a different scene now, and I have
to go back. You have to get into the mode you were in two years ago.
Definitely you tap into it.

purplevelcrow asks:  Both your work and your grandfather's work has
inspired me massively in my writing and art. I have often heard your
music compared to Fluxus art in that it takes some of everything or
nothing and blends it together to make something beautiful. Do you feel

Beck:  Yeah, I don't base my songwriting on harmony in the traditional
sense. Creating a recording, I do approach it as a process, probably
similar to creating a piece of art. I'm not concerned with getting a
proper drum sound. I'm not. I'm more concerned with creating something
with the right character, that represents what's going on at the time.
Fluxus reflects how we exist, and that's a different thing than making

Moderator:  I love your horn arrangements on Midnight Vultures. Are you
a fan of the Memphis Horns, Staxx/Volt, etc. and did those sides
influence your work?

Beck:  I think my main interest in using the horns was for performance -
so much music today is so guitar heavy. I sought other places to get
muscle into the music. Many bands rely heavily on guitar to pump up the
sound, but I thought it would be interesting to make the horns into the
guitars. I thought it was interesting performing in front of the horns.
Makes you want to run for your life and do 300 pushups. There's
something about the overtones--the sax and trumpet-they're really still
a novelty for me. They've been in the band for about 3 years now. For
this tour, we went back through all the Odelay material and rewrote the
horn arrangements. The Midnite Vulture sound has already existed now for
about 3 years, if you count the Odelay material.

dave walters asks:  While most critical comments about Midnite Vultures
have concerned the soul/r&b influences, I hear a lot of Captain
Beefheart, especially on Hold On and Peaches and Cream. I was curious if
this was a conscious type of thing or something that just came out? Are
you familiar with Beefheart?

Beck:  Yeah

Beck:  But can you hang on a second? I have to answer the telephone.

Beck:  Yeah, Capt. Beefheart. I'm familiar with it. It was something I
heard when I was 23-24, later in life, after I'd already been performing
a while, and I was already so immersed in blues, and free form poetry
and a lot of the same elements that make up his music, so hearing him
was eerie, you know. I felt like somebody had already done what I was
trying to do. It felt like I had discovered some island, and he had been
living there for 500 years. He's one of my favorites. I'm also surprised
that there's been such an emphasis on Prince in all the reviews, but
more of this albums flavor comes from Beefheart. He was definitely an
influence on some of these songs. But he has such a grisly presence, and
I thought it would be interesting to make some music in his realm, but
my singing is totally lightweight. But as a musician, you get to create
your own musical fantasy.

riddimon asks:  Which aspect of the over all recording process is the
least important to you?

Beck:  The least important part of recording-it's all important.
Programming tends to be quite time consuming, you know. You sample
different beats and drum sounds, put them together, move them micro-tics
to get just the right feel. I tend not to program beats on a grid, so I
work for days with my engineer, and we go into each sound to create
fades that sound right, and aren't popping. Much computer-based music is
tedious to make. Playing live is my favorite-with other musicians. But
much of what I'm trying to achieve in recording involves tedious
tweaking. On this album, we spent 15-16 hour days, which is a long time
to sit in a room with a board and a computer and 2-3 persons. We go 6-7
days a week, and this was labor intensive. Whatever process, or sound
that we used in Odelay is being used by others in their albums now. I
owed it to myself to use this time well and do something different. To
explore whatever else in that realm is possible. There is a definite
process to create the beat, to create samples. I asked myself, how could
we do something virtuoso with this technology, that takes it to a more
musical place?

Neon Spatula asks:  Is there a particular book or author that has been
particularly inspiring in your songwriting

Beck:  My songwriting?? Yeah. Well, you know, I read Kerouac as a kid -
and the other Beat writers. I'm - not really conscious of how much they
inspired me. I didn't lift their writing. I'm conscious of being amazed
by them, but I'm really trying to mind my own territory here. We have to
do that instead of relying on others-find your own imagery and topics.
So I've sought my own voice through my writing, my own likes & dislikes.
Right now I'm reading -- I've been reading a Martin Amis book. He's
great. One of those people who, you know, who deserves to be cynical and
dark, you know. Many don't deserve to be that cynical, but he's earned
it-his writing is that good. I'm not generally cynical. With the way it
is, the state of the culture as it is, I'm always trying to put
something positive out there.

tark asks:  What do you think of other artists sampling your music?

Beck:  Other artists? Well, Oh, it's weird because sampling has reached
such a perverted state at this point. To sample something you're going
to give away most of your song. To put a sample out, you give away 50%
of your song, and have to pay 5-50K to pay to do so. It's really out of
hand. Gouging the artist. I think it' s really - there are so many
possible things to sample-the I Ching, John Cage. You never know in pop
music, since so much pop is formulaic. Sampling could get in there and
be a random element. It's exciting to me, but it's become quite elitist
and difficult. Also, many have used it as a crutch, and not everyone is
creative with sampling. But for example Posse, they took Jack-Ass top to
bottom, took the arrangement apart, and the keyboard sample is the intro
to a Van Morrison song, the cover of a Dylan song. Dylan took the rights
to the song, but I would say, the keyboard player wrote that part. He
deserves the props. But Posse did a cover of MY song, and it all went to
Dylan. It's such a backward system. It's already a legal miasma. I'm all
for regenerating, recycling, you know. I'm all into the idea of making
something beautiful out of bad music.

miss_liz asks:  I heard you finished up work for Recycler. Do you think
you'll work more with movies by way of soundtracks and perhaps directing
(as you do the videos)?

Beck:  Yeah, I love directing videos. I have had real actors in the
videos, and I like working with the actors, but I just took it up from
necessity. I wanted the video to be my way, so I wanted to direct it
myself. I have no ambitions outside music. Or few of them. Who knows? I
want to do music for a movie at some point, but the right movie. I love
Paul Thomas Anderson. Thankfully, we have a couple of filmmakers like
that-totally original and unique. I get offered things like an Austin
Powers or Adam Sandler movie, but I'd like to be in a Lars von Triers
movie. It would never come my way. I love movies. They're more
influential in my music than other music is-Fellini, for example, has
influenced me more than any other musician I can think of.

88ricebowl asks:  Why did you choose to include Debra in this album?
You've been playing it live for years.

Beck:  Debra? I think because it had become such a big part of our set,
and originally I had planned to make it a B side, or add it to a movie,
but it didn't fit any of the movies. But Midnite Vultures started to
turn into an R&B soul album, so I recorded it. My girlfriend hates that
song. But I enjoy performing the music. Most of my songs I sing in a
lower register, but it's hard to be emotive with a song like Jack-Ass. I
envy other singers who just wail and let go. Debra's one of the few
songs where I can do that. I wouldn't likely listen to that kind of
song, I'd skip over it. A year from now, the song wouldn't have been
included in the album

jennyw221 asks:  You mentioned John Cage-do you have any other classical
music influences?

Beck:  John Cage? Other musical influences? Yeah! There's a composer
named Webern, and he wrote string quartets. I was heavily into them when
I was younger. The quartet has really short movements, like weird little
nuggets of music, these little capsules of musical moments. Right now,
I'm listening to Glenn Gould doing the Goldberg Variations, the 1st
version, which I like because it's unkempt. I like finding classical
music that is inappropriately rendered, but it's hard to find. That
music has become so refined, and it's supposed to be primal. If we HAD
Beethoven or Liszt recordings, we'd be blown away with how ragged they
are. Their compositions were often just blueprints.

j-bird asks:  Do you enjoy free jazz? Ornette Coleman, etc... I see you
as a jazz artist-does old jazz influence you?

Beck:  Free jazz? I love Ornette, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra. They're all
part of my world. Many of the people I've played with are from that jazz
background - my old drummers are jazz people, and the horn player is a
straight up jazz man.

limebeck asks:  You didn't continue schooling, what do you think would
have happened if you did? How would Beck be different?

Beck:  Had I continued my musical schooling, I still don't know how

Beck would have been different, but I would have been better read. I
don't know. It's so hard to tell. I would have loved to go to college,
but...My brother got to go to college. Probably I would have been
entering the music arena quite differently, from a different place, and
doing something more musically serious. When I was young, 20-21, I got
into the music business, and I began playing music professionally much
younger than I would had I gone to college to study music.

MAXFISCHER asks:  Do you prefer going into the studio with a set goal to
record this many songs in this amount of time, or do you like to let the
records evolve into their own things?

Beck:  I hve no choice. They just evolved. Mutations was the 1st time I
went in with 11 songs. The lyrics were all done. That was the least
stressful recording experience I've ever had. But that kind of stress
gives me a new kind of energy. You're not going to get certain kinds of
spontaneity and randomness without it. I like being surprised when I go
in - it's just how I've been doing things for a long time. I'd love to
go into the recording studio with music already written and

Hutch asks:  How do you create thoughtful music that is commercially

Beck:  Thoughtful music that's commercially accessible? It has always
for me been an afterthought. I did what I wanted and other people
latched onto it. But in the past few years I found myself going off in
my own direction more and more, but I now have to work more in a live
show or interview to just explain where the music's coming from, which
is often a specific place. If people don't get what you're doing or
aren't into it, it's often because they lack a reference point, or
haven't heard it before. So I get out, play a show, and project the
energy. Hopefully they see what's good about it and where you're trying
to go with it. It's not commercial music, but yeah, I guess it's
accessible. For me and my music friends, in MY bubble, I might as well
be playing Garth Brooks. But to someone who is uninitiated or who buys
few records, it sounds busy and complicated. So I don't know. I don't
know if it's commercial -- to one person it's commercial and
lightweight, and to someone else it's completely abrasive and offensive.
I think that it's a difficult thing to balance.

Moderator:  Unfortunately, Beck has to head off to the stage in Austin.
Thanks very much for joining us tonight. And thanks to Beck, of course.
We'll leave the room open for a while.

Beck:  Thank you. Good-bye.

Moderator:  Thanks again to all of you -- great questions!

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